Technology has become such a humongous part of our everyday lives it’s now become a tool that we take for granted, and use without caution. It’s embedded in everything we do now, and because of that, we’re prone to broadcasting how stupid and absurd we can be to the outside world. Peter Huang’s short anthology entitled “5 Films About Technology” is a laugh out loud funny and realistic look at how five groups of people all end up committing some kind of ridiculous act with their own technology thanks to stupidity or circumstance.
Speaking as someone who has dealt with mental illness for my entire life, “The Voice in the Head” brought a tear to my eye. Cyrus Trafford’s short film is a riveting and gut wrenching look at mental illness and how small the disparities are between those with a mental illness and those that perceive themselves as sane. Most of all, “The Voice in the Head” is a unique look at how often we jump to conclusions toward those with a mental illness or with people that seem to indicate mental illness. Too often in society has mental illness been stigmatized and demonized, and there are still too many individuals with zero understanding of psychological illness and how it can destroy lives and those around them.
Director Chris Esper and writer Jason K. Allen have a lot of ideas about fate, irony, and destiny and integrates them well in his absurdist comedy short about a couple that meets on a bench one afternoon. “The Deja Vuers” is funny, but it’s also quite intelligent, arousing some unique thoughts about how much control we have over our own lives. Are we following some rhythm, or are we voluntarily setting the stage for our own futures? Kris Salvi is great as a man named Chuck who approaches Morgan one day while sitting on a park bench. He insists he’s had déjà vu with her, and remembers them meeting in a dream.
The premise for “Check Please” is less a slice of life and more something you’d find in a normal sitcom. That’s not a slight, but it does hinder what is a fine comedy, that could have been great. “Check Please” involves a massive misunderstanding that snowballs in to chaos, as young Ben is preparing to propose to Laura, his girlfriend of many years. She seems like a girl who has put up with a lot and has spent a while trying to convince Ben to marry her, and he’s opted to propose by sneaking her ring in to a piece of pie.
Director Max Beauchamp’s “Iridescence” is an excellent short film and one that we desperately need these days. Conveyed through motion, body language, and dance, “Iridescence” is the story of one family torn apart and destroyed by ignorance and misunderstanding. Relying on ace editing by Duy N. Bui and fantastic choreography, director Beauchamp tells the story of the tragic death of a wife at the hands of her husband one fateful night. Years later their son grows up confused about his own sexuality and is struggling to hide his affair with another man from his violent father.
Being an artist is tough work. Not only do you have to work very hard to hone your craft, and perfect it, but you also have to fight to be taken seriously. Jeremy Weinstein’s chronicle of his brother’s life as a Jazz Musician is a funny and charming slice of life and how a talented Jazz Musician finds himself on the end of man condescending remarks.
I really like where James Cappadoro and writer Frank De Rosa’s heads are with “We Just Want to Play.” There is always someone who is trying to hand us a new kind of college classic like “Animal House” or “Revenge of the Nerds,” and director Cappadoro’s short film has an infectious energy that made it a blast to sit through. The one downfall behind it all is that the movie is only about sixteen minutes in length. Chalk it up to budget or whatnot, but “We Just Want to Play” looks like it has material for at least a ninety minute movie. That said, the current short is fine as it is and works as a very entertaining and fun tribute to classic college comedies about underdogs fighting the alpha males and corrupt deans.
Director-Writer Phoebe Torres’ short “Cauliflower” plays out like a skit from a comedy show, and that’s not at all meant to be a slight since it’s a damn funny short film, that also conveys a full narrative in under five minutes. It’s weird how much the fear of looking ignorant can often turn us in to clowns nevertheless, but Torres has a great sense of capturing how sometimes we’d rather feign knowledge no matter how stupid we look, than not admit to ignorance.